What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Since I had a graphic design background, I was able to customize a lot! I also won the Cricut bundle in 2020 from The Budget Savvy Bride. I designed and made our invitations, all our signs, wedding favors, etc.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
I did our invitations (twice after a COVID reschedule), table seating chart, directional sign, coffee truck sign, individual chair tags, welcome sign, and table numbers. I also personalized our ring box, card box, hand sanitizer favors, bridal party robes, etc.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We had a lot of goods/services gifted to us, along with using our personal network for discounts, we probably saved well over $5,000. My mom did the bouquets (1 bridal, 2 honors), boutonnieres (1 groom, 5 others), and corsages (4). My aunt did all our large floral arrangements (sweetheart table, altar decorations, welcome table, bar, etc.). My MIL purchased and decorated our cake. My wedding planner/friend owned candle pillars and floating candle cylinders, and let me use them without charging me. The DJ was my cousin and gave me a steep discount. The videographer was a cousin of my wedding planner, and also provided a discount.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
It was a piece of advice from the venue owner’s husband. I was running around bringing things to our venue throughout the week. Two days before the wedding, I was trying to carry a large bag and my dress into the bridal suite when the owner saw me struggling. While unlocking the bridal suite door for me, he could see I was slightly stressed with all my to-dos. He asked me to sit down and relax. We started chatting, and once he saw me relaxing, he said that when it gets stressful, and you’re feeling all the pressure, take a moment to stop and remember what it’s all for. That all the details and everything is actually second to the REASON you’re doing it – to celebrate the love between you and your future spouse. Taking that moment can help put the stress into perspective.
Also, if anything goes wrong the day of, have a posse of people to keep that information at bay during the wedding. They can tell you all the things that went “wrong” another day – over drinks!
What was your biggest splurge?
The biggest splurge for us was my husband bought a pair of Christian Louboutins. Since I got to keep a fancy beautiful dress, it was only fair he got something fancy to keep as well.
As for the biggest splurge for our guests, last minute we decided to add on a Coffee Truck with our signature latte. It was a big hit!
What was your favorite detail?
Non-physical detail: Early in the planning process, my husband and I were brainstorming what kind of wedding we envisioned. He landed on the words “classy and elegant.” Those two words helped narrow down all our decision-making, and really embodied all the details of our wedding.
Physical detail: My bouquet. I’ve known since I was a young girl that my mom would be the one to make my wedding bouquet. She’s been battling breast cancer for a few years, and very recently suffered a stroke. I know her creativity, spirit, and love were poured into every detail. I preserved my bouquet through Soil+Soul to make sure it was something I could hold onto for far longer than one day.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Ok, there were so many to chose from! But one of the standouts was after the ceremony. My husband and I exited from the ceremony and spent 10 minutes in the bridal suite to soak in the moment, quietly just be together, and take our first selfie as husband and wife!
Our original date was on June 20, 2020 – then COVID hit. We had to minimize our guest list to 55 people (including our vendors). I never imagined having a small wedding, but in the end – it was perfect.